Universe’s 6,000th birthday …

via Eliot at Follow Me Here…:

“Britain’s geologists are about to celebrate the fact that the universe is exactly 6,000 years old.

At 6pm tonight at the Geological Society of London, scientists will raise their glasses to James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh (below), who in 1650 used the chronology of the Bible to calculate the precise date and moment of creation.

Working from the book of Genesis, and risking some speculation on the Hebrew calendar, he calculated that it began at 6pm on Saturday October 22, 4004 BC.

Actually, he put the date at October 23, and then pedantically realised that time must have begun the night before, because the Bible said that ‘the evening and the morning were the first day.’ ” (Guardian.UK)

blivet – May your new year not suck

May your new year not suck comes from Doc Searls. I can’t improve on that sentiment, but I would leave you an image from Thoreau’s Walden. May the streams of your life overflow, flooding the areas around them. May you find your life and the lives around you richer and more joyful than you dared imagine. May you find yourself with upraised clenched fists shouting Yes!

Audrey and I, along with the vast and talented staff here at blivet, wish everyone a healthy and Happy New Year!

Kilshore also pointed me to Doc’s log by bringing up several Quaker-related sites.

Doc mentions “In Quaker meetings, one is moved to speak only if one can improve on the silence.” This is something we teach overtly in Ch’an (Zen) as well, to raise awareness of the inner dialog so it can be stilled. Though if you come here very much you’d never know it. Many Monastic orders (the Benedictines spring to mind) overtly foster this through vows of silence. Its hard to kill the ego if you’re always letting it frolic about. Not improving on the silence is anathema to most ‘business’ meetings. Leadership qualities often seem to be recognized by upper management through excess comment polishing during staff meetings. Leaders listen, then improve upon the silence if necessary. At least, thats how I see it.

Al says: Thank you, each and every one of you, for sharing this place with me. Good Sir, it is we who thank you for having a place so companionable to share.

… Everything is possible. I always enjoy reading what Commander Dave has to say.

Likewise with Andrea. Happy New Year to you and André too!

I haven’t made an appointment to be evaluated for sleep apnea yet (it may be that my wife is too patient, it may be that I need to be urged a bit if I’m not going to take the initiative), but I decided to try those adhesive strips that you put on your nose while you sleep. The idea is that they help keep the airflow going through the nose, thus discouraging the mouth breathing that is snoring’s precursor. I was very impressed. Last night was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months. Well, there was the small matter of Mr. ‘I’m so happy to be home with you’ cat walking on my head, but that was unrelated. Actually, at 14 pounds (5.23 kg) he is no small matter when he is on your head. The only downside to those strips I see (but a big one) is that even following the recommended procedure of ‘remove in the shower or while washing your face’ I managed to remove the upper couple of layers of epidermis off my nose. It was quite painless and I was blissfully unaware until I splashed my face with the soapy water. Then I became aware. I think that will be the extent of this patient’s trials with the adhesive strips. Later: Al is right, and thankfully, his urging is polite as well…

SirDeath, Audrey, and I just got back from seeing Chocolat. I think it was perfect little magical fable, just perfect. I recommend it highly. A lot of people on the IMDB discussion group seem to be down on the film because it was shallow or not done in French with subtitles because it is set in a rural French village. Another claims that the performances were ‘excruciating’ while Dame Judi Dench was ‘merely bad’. Whatever. Obviously your mileage may vary.

I’ve been enjoying the quotes garret currently has in the random rotation at dangerous meta. Chief Joseph, Chief Seattle, Wovoka, Thayendanegea, Black Hawk. Great stuff!

This will probably be it for the year 2000 edition of blivet. We’re going spend a quiet evening at home. If you’re going out to celebrate, please use a designated driver. Alcohol and motor vehicles are a very poor form of natural selection.

Oops, I lied. I was having a look at my Site Meter referrals (that rainbow thingie over on the right) for the last couple of weeks and noticed a google (thru yahoo) search for “suppressing libido”. The stream of searches for “Harry Potter” and “Penis Puppeteers” are one thing, that has been pretty constant. But as for suppressing libidos, well, I’ll leave that for others to advocate. I still have never figured out where the “nude Japanese” searches of a couple of months ago came from. (now I guess they will be back …) Just as a postscript, I think the libido suppression thing came from mentioning Kellog’s creation of Corn Flakes during the ‘obsession with colon cleanliness and bowel movements during the late 19th century’ from several months ago. Or something like that.

I’m going for real now. I hear The Iron Chef marathon going in the other room. Be careful out there, I want to see you in 2001. Thanks for a great year. –Hal

Father’s Day Thoughts

Ultimately, this is about fathers and sons and family friends, coming to a partial peace with who you are and who they are, and a funeral. It came about because of a phone call made to someone close to me who has traveled to a legendary land. The place where I grew up. She is in the same geographic place, but I suspect that the place I’m thinking of exists only in my memory, and part of that in my imagination. It starts out reminiscing about home and gradually spirals out from there through old family friends and finally to a funeral. Remember, funerals are about the living sharing a goodbye to someone after they have gone through that final, mysterious passage that we all will go through, then regrouping and going on. The events at the funeral are factual to the best of my knowledge. Oh yeah, the funeral was my Dad’s, in 1992. Don’t forget your Dad on Father’s Day next Sunday, the 18th. There may be some misspellings and other errors, I apologize in advance.

I had a long, long-distance talk this morning with my wife, Audrey. Its her first time she’s really been back to where I grew up in eastern Kansas where a 10-minute bike ride would get you out of town into the country. She grew up in suburban Denver.

She’s doing a month long Field Geology class (ES747) which is the last course work for her Master’s in Earth Sciences (with an emphasis in Remote Sensing). The program is taught by Distance Learning via the web, but obviously you can’t do field geology without being there. She’s also taken several geology courses through the UNLV Geosciences department.

Emporia is about 35 miles southeast of Osage City where I grew up. Topeka is 35 miles north of Osage City. If you wanted anything besides the basics (groceries, gas, light hardware or a pharmacy) you had to go one way or another. My Dad was a Civil Engineer thanks to the G. I. Bill and worked for the Air Force at Forbes AFB (now closed) just south of Topeka most of his career. We seldom went to Emporia so I really don’t know it as well.

Emporia is in rolling hills at the south end of the Flint Hills where they transition into the Osage Cuestas. Lots of Cottonwood, Oak. and Hickory in the stream bottoms that dissect the relatively flat tall-grass prairies above. Things like ticks and chiggers too. And fireflies at night. Summer nights are magic. This is Dances with Wolves kind of country. Land of the Vision Quest. The jumping off point (Council Grove) for the Santa Fe Trail was about 30 miles north northwest of Emporia.

She’s having a pretty good experience so far. Ted and Patty Davis, very long term friends of the family, came down to Emporia to meet her. Patty and my Mom are just like sisters. Ted is a huge man of mostly German descent who farmed the land his Granddad homesteaded until most of it got taken by the Corps for Melvern Lake. When I say huge, I mean in that barrel-chested fashion thats common there at least, but not fat. Corn-fed, college football lineman kind of big. I’ve seen him carry two hay bales (back when they were small) in each dinner-plate sized hand the six or seven steps from the pickup to the back corral fence before popping the wires off as they go over the fence and turning around and doing it again. Just as a routine ‘got lots to do, can’t waste time’ thing. They’re both smart people, but Patty does most of the talking. They’re both in their early 70s and have slowed down a bit, but not much. In 1972 the decision was made to close Forbes when my Dad had about eight years to go for retirement. He didn’t have much choice if he wanted a pension but to be sent to Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas in 1973. That was also the year I graduated from High School. Ted and Patty are really the only people Mom and Dad managed to stay in touch with from back home. I haven’t been back to Kansas since 1983 when my Grandfather died.

When Dad got sick in January of 1992, the message really didn’t get passed along with sufficient gravity, or perhaps it wasn’t fully heard by Ted and Patty. Sometimes news like that doesn’t always get fully processed. When Dad’s cancer was diagnosed it had already metastasized and was in his lymph system. I had landed a fantastic job with the University system less than a year before and ended four years of intermittent employment at nothing jobs. We were working four 10-hour weeks so I was able to fly down every third week.

Death is a gruesome thing and never worse (I’m told by exerts) than watching it happen to you same-sex parent. There is a lot that can be told here, but suffice to say Dad and I got to say all the things that needed to be said to bring my 37 years of living and his 69 years of living to the place where we were finally not just father and son and friendly, but actual good friends. Friends who understood each other. It was amazing and changed my life. The cancer spread very fast and he died in May of 1992. I was (mostly) relieved it was over. Mom was numb. Ted and Patty were devastated. They hadn’t had it down in time to say goodbye.

Dad was an atheist, at least he professed to be. I think he was probably some flavor of animist rather than a Jew like his Grandfather, or Christian like his wife. We had him cremated, as he wished, and on a drizzling gray morning in May when all were there, including Patty and Ted, to scatter his ashes in a favorite place he requested. He had privately requested a Viking burial and Mom had poo-pooed the idea to his face in the hospital. He couldn’t really talk because of the radiation and he had some sort of breathing tube in his throat. He got so agitated he made the nurse take out the tube and he croaked “God damn it, I mean it!”. Whoaaaa, I think he means it. He was horribly emaciated with way too many tubes stuck in him and the whole thing made Mom cry, but I got the message. A flaming boat/bier wasn’t really feasible, but I knew the real message was to not put him in some suit in a box and have a Minister he had probably called an idiot more than once get the last word. I had done some research and found an account of a Norse burial rite that would gain a man who had not died in battle admittance to Valhalla. I have no idea if it was historically accurate or completely fanciful. It didn’t really matter. I just wanted to say some words that Dad would have liked. The ceremony had a constraint that it had to be performed by the eldest son, so I was home free. I’m an only child. The day before Mom had talked about what she would like to have happen and admonished me to not “do something stupid trying to make one of your little points. For God’s sake this is your Daddy’s funeral!” I assured her that things would be OK.

You could see where the Sun was behind the cloud cover to the east and we sort of instinctively formed a semi-circle open to that direction, which also looked over a fairly scenic panorama. Mom had me read a poem about angels and going home. Some of Dad’s friends said some nice things about him and how we would all miss him. Most people were dabbing at their eyes and Mom and a couple others were sobbing into handkerchiefs. I had been holding the box with his cremains and stepped forward. I held the box towards the Sun and muttered the first lines of the rite. Mom knew I was going to do something that Dad had asked me to do, but I figured I could give her the details later if she wanted to know. Everybody else was white suburban middle-class folks and I didn’t really want to offend them by being too different, even though everybody knew how Dad felt about organized religion. I had this Buck sheath knife that Dad had had for years that I finally found in his tackle box about an hour before. I opened the box from the Crematorium with the knife. It was good I had that knife because I don’t think that box was designed to be reopened once it was closed. I scattered what was in there while I went through the ceremony. I ran out of ceremony while I still had a task so I started saying thanks for all the things I could remember that Dad had done for me. Tears were running down my cheeks. Finally, the box was empty.

The last part of the rite was where the eldest son is supposed to break his father’s battle sword and throw it into the pyre. Thats why I had his Buck knife. I hadn’t really thought this out and I realized I had no idea how to deliberately break a knife, at least without a vise and a hammer or something. So I knelt down on one knee and plunged the knife into the ground and I tried to bend the handle over. To my amazement it snapped off with kind of a low ‘thunk’. I stood up and said the last line of the rite, which is what you’re supposed to say as you throw your father’s sword into the fire, aloud. “I am the eldest son. It is my right to ask for this.” I dropped the knife handle on the ground.

The Sun usually didn’t break through the clouds until late morning and I hadn’t planned for this either, but the Sun broke through the clouds as I said that line and stayed out for about a minute and a half. The whole combination of events – the poem, testimonials, my thing – had taken perhaps 10 minutes. But as I ended things and the Sun broke through, everybody’s sobs gave way to outright bawling. The next thing I know, Ted, this huge friend of my family is crushing me in this bear hug. “We thought we had more time for your Dad, we thought we had more time, we thought we had more time.”

Later, back at Mom’s house which was full of people and food they had brought and Patty had made, I ran into Ted in the kitchen. “I’ve never told you this, I never felt much need to. Jim (my Dad) was always real proud of you. I want you to know I am too. You’re a good son and you did a good thing today.”

These people know me and my family. We have history… I cannot explain how good what he said to me in that kitchen feels eight years later.

I’m telling you all this because Patty and Ted really liked Audrey when they met her yesterday. “Oh my gosh Hal, shes really NICE! How did you pull that off?” Much laughter over the phone. It feels really good when your people are happy for and with you. They’ll seldom say so to your face, so its nice when it happens. Audrey mentioned early in the phone conversation that Ted and Patty seemed to think I was pretty special and after a couple of hours they were teasing her about needing to make sure she was ‘good enough to be married to Hal’. So she replied by saying ‘I think he’s pretty special’ or something like that. Then Audrey said that Patty patted Ted on the arm and said “We’re pretty proud of him” and Ted added “That’s right. I told him so once.” They both got quiet and Ted excused himself from the restaurant table. Audrey asked me, “Something was going on there. What was that about?” …

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t for a moment think that Norse Gods were evoked or that anything ‘happened’ other than natural phenomena. The knife broke because thats what happens when you bend the hilt off-axis to the blade when the blade is stuck in something. The sun happened to came out at a time that seemed to a small group of people to be fortuitous, though occasionally a part of me has chosen to think my Dad was somehow saying ‘Thanks’. I am not a shaman, but if they offer to pay me to be one on TV I’ll consider it. I do not communicate with ‘the other side’. I have a hard time saying what I mean on ‘this’ side. If you hear ‘voices from the other side’ please see a psychiatrist or therapist. I’m publicly a Buddhist priest and I want to emphasize that I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with organized religion, especially Christianity, though I’m sure if my Dad were here he would express a different opinion. I do feel that we all stand in awe of something incomprehensible and find different voices to express that awe.

This story has special meaning for me because the events ended up being rather cinematic which is cool, it serves as a vehicle to discuss the complicated relationship between generations and people, especially between Fathers and Sons, and finally, because it concerns the last thing I got to do for my Dad and I got it right. Don’t forget your Dad on Father’s Day (Americans celebrate it next Sunday, June 18). If you don’t especially get along with your father, at least try to reach out to him. You never know how many times it will take to get through. If it happens, I guarantee it will be worthwhile. Remember to be nice to one another, we don’t have much time while we’re here.

[this has had some minor edits since it was posted for grammar and clarification]

blivet 5/19/2000 The world is burning …

My head is in radiocarbon years vs. calibrated calendar years as contrasted to uncorrected radiocarbon years and who has published their dates corrected and who hasn’t and which came first, the post-Pleistocene climate shifts or the technological adaptation because of … because of … because of what? We don’t know! Thats why its so cool because the work you’re doing builds towards knowing.

Al at View From the Heart has got me thinking about templates for ETP and Weblogs.com sites, like this one. Ugh, that means messing with the template and … stuff like CCS and XML. Thanks to you too, garret, for encouragement and inspiration.

[Las Vegas] The jury for the Binion murder trial has reached a verdict. Rick Tabish and Sandra Murphy were found guilty on all counts, except for the reduction of the ‘with a deadly weapon’ counts and Kidnapping reduced to Unlawful Detention. So Murder in the 1st Degree instead of Murder with a Deadly Weapon … There will be links all over the place. CNN, Reuters, and as they say, etc. Can we locals move on now?

[Reuters] Brower quits Sierra Club board. The ArchDruid steps aside.

David Brower, one of the most respected leaders of the U.S. environmental movement, has quit the board of the Sierra Club, saying the organization is fiddling while the world goes up in flames.

The world is burning and all I hear from them is the music of violins,” Brower said in Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle, announcing his resignation from the group he once led.

“The planet is being trashed, but the board has no real sense of urgency. We need to try to save the Earth at least as fast as it’s being destroyed,” the 87-year-old Brower said.

John at View from an Iowa Homestead seconds the link I first saw at array by pointing to a talk by Freeman Dyson titled Progress in Religion. I like these two excerpts:

I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind. <…>

Science and religion are two windows that people look through, trying to understand the big universe outside, trying to understand why we are here. The two windows give different views, but they look out at the same universe. Both views are one-sided, neither is complete. Both leave out essential features of the real world. And both are worthy of respect.

I’ve since seen lots of folks pointing to this. Please have a look for yourself.

[UniSci] New Nervous System Theory On Allergy Emerging.

For decades, scientists have known that individuals who have allergies and asthma are more reactive to irritants such as cold, dry air and tobacco smoke, but until now, they haven’t known why.

Now Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered, to their surprise, that a nervous system protein may have a significant role in asthma, hay fever and other allergies.

According to the new research reported in the May issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the protein, nerve growth factor (NGF), may be responsible for making allergy sufferers more sensitive to irritants such as tobacco smoke.

“Hay fever and asthma now seem to derive from events not only in the respiratory system, but also from a nervous system that is overreacting to stimuli,” says Vassilis Koliatsos, M.D., an associate professor of pathology, neurology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Ugh, allergies. Mine started about four years after I moved to Las Vegas. I began reacting to everything, Auto exhaust, perfume, cooking odors, the fragrance in almost anything – soap, food, rug shampoo, disinfectant, candles. Strangely, to me at least, I was very allergic to crickets, glycerin, and most chlorine-based compounds. I had no idea how widespread those are. I was certainly the life of the party. I went through a desensitizing regimen that probably more psuedo than science. All I know is that it seemed to work. You can only Zen your way so far through this stuff. This is phenomena, not illusion. The trick is to not let it define your existence. I still take a decongestant daily, more religiously than I take vitamins. I hate feeling this way, like a canary in a coal mine.

I haven’t had time to check out much on the web today or last night. I’m working on a paleoenvironmental essay and have been deep into various books and journal articles. It’s funny to think that all those 20-page papers I dreaded in classes were just prelude. The level of effort for excelling in school is just being competent out in the world of practicing archaeologists. I suspect its the same for biologists, geologists, chemists, lawyers, business folks. Performance that would blow the curve in a graduate seminar is simply what is expected.

[NPR] listening to All Things Considered, it sounds like the finger pointing is beginning concerning the Cerro Grande fire. Compensation will still be a long time coming I fear. garret will have the best links concerning the fire, he’s a little closer than the rest of us.

blivet 2000/03/30 eschew ostentatious obsequiousness

The Democratization of Science at First Things. I can’t improve on the comment that Garret excerpted on array where I first saw the link. “scientists have had a glorious free ride for a while; now they have to justify their work to laymen … in layman’s terms. otherwise, they assist this modern return to medievalism.” If you haven’t read Carl Sagan’s last book The Demon Haunted World yet, I recommend it highly. Scientists, and I mean all of us who do science, have our work cut out for us. Could we pass on the ‘Dark Ages’ part please?

[Burnt Rock] The potential of what we’ve done and how good the writeup might be continues to seep in. I’ve done archaeology since 1976, but this is the first project I’ve really felt like I was a part of the design, direction, and focus, and not just crew. Meanwhile we’ve got to get the body of the Little Spring House report out Monday. I did the analysis of the lithics and cartridges today. Greg is doing the historic material.

[Classic Movies] The Razor’s Edge (1946) was on TV tonight. What an superb movie. I read the W. Somerset Maugham novel that the movie is based on ten years ago at the reccomendation of Chuan Yuen and loved it. This is the first time I’ve seen the movie and wasn’t disappointed. Two thumbs up! All I have!

[PBS Code Rush update] URLs for the PBS site and there is a thread over at slashdot.

[The Antiques Roadshow Update] WGBH has dumped two appraisers. This is a step in the right direction. I had the wrong link earlier, sorry. Thanks for the link Garret. update to the update: Turns out it was linkrot! Linkrot half-life for certain news sites usually starts the following day at the fastest. I’ve never seen it less then an hour.

[Maxwell’s Silver Hammer] My wife had a portion of her thesis work (being done in conjunction with her job assignment) presented at a conference by a Ph.D. (not her advisor, not on her committee) without acknowledgement of her work. In other words presented as the Ph.D.’s work. Graduate students get treated like shit. Zen does not hold that you shouldn’t be angry in a situtation like this. It does hold that you should not dwell in that anger. Ego renunciation does not mean that you become a doormat. I’ve been screwed this way more than once. Yeah, I’m angry at the academy. Again. And I’m working to not dwell in that anger. Again.

[The Public Interest] When Psychotherapy Replaces Religion. A thought provking article which discusses how morality is taken frrom the milleu of private convictions (read ‘framed by personal sense of morality often grounded in religion’) to a secular framework based on ‘self-esteem’. This highights, for me, one of the problems I frequently encounter with Zen instruction. Zen is rooted in Buddhism – a mix of northern Indian Buddhism of the 5th century and southern Chineese Taoism . When removed from the structure of Buddhist and Taoist religion, which includes structured notions of morality, Zen becomes an impotent pop-culture exersize in appearing calm and peaceful. Nice for disilusioned surburbanites who want some Ego massage I suppose, but it isn’t Zen. Zen is about the eradication of Ego and the end of suffering caused by Ego. It will change your life, but it has nothing to do with the Western notions of self-esteem. Link from array.

“Zen is a cauldron of boiling oil over a roaring fire.”

blivet 2000/03/29

[PBS] Code Rush, a documentary about the 1998 Netscape effort to release the Mozilla open source code will air nationally tomorrow night. I can’t find a listing for the program on the local affiliate. <grumble>

[SETI@Home] Version 2.04 is out. The download page isn’t updated yet, but Mac users can get it here. Thanks to Version Tracker.

[Linux World]

The excitement over Eazel seems to spring from two sources. First is the company’s pedigree: several key members of the original Macintosh development team, people sporting some impressive Apple and post-Apple credentials, form the core of the new company. If anyone can make Linux really easy to use, these pioneers of the personal-computer GUI can — at least that’s the almost palpable expectation accompanying all the buzz. There’s also something intrinsically appealing about the Apple pioneers of the antediluvian early 1980s joining forces with the powerful open source minds of the here and now. You can almost see it as one of those Star Trek episodes in which a collaboration made possible by a temporal distortion could alter the course of history.

I just love that last sentence. It evokes such a sense of optimism and possibilities.

[Reuters] “Harry Potter’s wizardry banned from British school. Harry Potter, the fictional young wizard who captured children’s imagination all over the world, has been banished from one English school because his magical powers go against the teachings of the Bible.” Repeat after me, ‘Separation of Church and State is a good thing.’ I can only echo Garret, “what about J. R. R. Tolkien’s Gandalf and Arthur’s Merlin at that school?”

This is along with listening to “Morning Edition” covering the case from Texas that has gone to the Supreme Court over prayer at football games. They interviewed a couple of students for the story. When one was asked “What if a Muslim gave a prayer before the game?” he replied “Oh, that would be fine as long as they exalted Jesus Christ!”, then he laughed like the answer was obvious. The rural bible belt and Texas can be such a strange place. I’m still not sure how small-town rural Kansas spawned someone like me. If I was still there I would be fighting the State Board of Education concerning the teaching of creationism and evolution.

[Boston Herald] “Antiques Roadshow, the top-rated PBS show, breaks the circle of trust with its faithful viewers. An estimated 14 million viewers – who flock to the show to lap up the quaint premise of finding lost treasures in America’s attics – have been misled. And WGBH, the station that produces the show, knows of the problems yet has taken no action.” Remember the Civil War sword that the guy found in his Grandma’s attic and as a kid had used to cut watermelon? Apparently that was staged. The sword belonged to a friend of the appraiser and was used to attract additional business for the appraiser. This article brings up a lot of things about the show’s appraisers I was not aware of. This fraud, the details of which are part of a successful lawsuit brought against the appraiser, along with the continuing appraisal of pothunter collections and obviously looted Pre-Columbian artifacts from Mexico and Central America means I’ll not be watching the show anymore, and will be fairly vocal about it if asked. I’m sorry I renewed my local PBS membership without being able to say something about this to the station. Link from Garret.

[Just Plain Wrong] Sacred White Buffalo Killed. This was the white buffalo calf you heard about in 1996 when it was born. MoJo, Lincoln Daily News. Thanks to Garret at array for the link. Tragic!

blivet

Alexandra DuPont Interviews William Gibson [Ain’t It Cool News]. Great interview. He actually got to talk about his writing.

Oklahoma throws out textbook evolution disclaimer

A requirement by Oklahoma’s textbook committee that state science textbooks include a disclaimer against evolution has been thrown out, a spokesman for the state’s attorney general said Thursday.

Now if my home state, Kansas, would follow their lead. From CNN

From the "Bye bye, Miss American Pie" dept:
February 3, 1959 – a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed the lives of rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. "the day the music died"

Huge dinosaur’s neck bones unearthed in Texas. from CNN

First begin, then continue …

I’m not really sure what to think about this one. CNN has a story “WWBD”? Need advice? Try Moses, Buddha and the Bard on three books that distill their business wisdom. WWBD? I think that is covered in the eight-fold path.

It seems to be rather calm this morning. AppleInsider has some news/rumors about multiprocessor G4s at Macworld, a 17 inch iMac test production run, and Minuet (Mac OS 9.0.1) falling behind schedule. As always, salt to taste.

It is very apparent I need to pick up some XML skills so I can make Manila do more.

The Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to return today after successfully repairing and upgrading the Hubble Space Telescope. Fantastic job! I initially wrote “splash down” rather then “return”. They haven’t “splashed down” since Apollo 17, I guess I’m showing my age. 🙂

At first, it seems productive to do Zen in a cloistered environment. There are no pesky distractions like family conflicts and your ego doesn’t intrude as obviously. So, for many, it is a good place to begin. With time though, it can become easy to delude yourself about your ‘progress’. The real test of your practice and the place to hone it is in the world outside the retreat, trying to remain centered, dancing the dance of life. Zen is 24/7. Or, more classically, “Zen is a cauldron of boiling oil over a roaring fire.” There is always a lesson, every moment provides a chance to hone your practice and remain in the moment. Or get swept away with the Ego’s drama. It’s just like keeping the servers responsive, providing customer support, or working with other people who have a different perspective. It’s being alive. It’s the only dance there is.